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14 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD
for the rickety child who is suspended periodically by the head and
the top of the shoulders, so that the weight of the body draws
down and thus straightens the spine. In the school the orthopedic
instrument is in full action—the bench; today, some one suggests
the corset; one step more, and we will have the suspension method
-advocated for scholars.
All this is the logical consequence of material scientific ap-
plications in the decadent school. The same might be said of the
applications of anthropology and experimental psychology to
education in our schools of today.
Obviously the rational way to prevent scoliosis among children
is to change the form of their work, so that they are no longer
compelled to remain for many hours in a harmful position.
It is a victory for liberty which is needed, not the mechanism
•of a bench.
Even if the bench did good service to the child's skeleton,
it would make the room unhygienic, because of the difficulty
-of removing it to clean underneath; further, the board on which
the child places his feet is not made to lift up, and so there
accumulates under it the dust brought in by little feet which have
1>een walking in the dirty streets,
Today the furniture of homes is being transformed so as to
become lighter and simpler, so that it can be moved about easily
.and probably cleaned everyday, if not actually washed. But the
school has remained blind to the transformations going on
One must carefully consider what will happen to the spirit
of the child when he is condemned to grow up in such an arti-
ficial and vicious manner that his very bones are deformed by it.
When we speak of the redemption of the workers, we always have
in mind that, underneath the surface evil, such as poverty of blood,
hernia, etc. there exists another deeper trouble which attacks the
human soul in the state of slavery, and this we refer to directly
when we say that the labourer must be restored to liberty. We
know very well that, when a man's blood becomes impoverished